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Sat Mar 7 10:18 pm  #1

From Govan to Scotland 4 - Inverbeg

INVERBEG:  The route to this youth hostel was from Govan, Renfrew, Inchinnan, passing the India Rubber Company, The Erskine Ferry, Bowling, Renton, Balloch and onto the west side road of Loch Lomond. Along this road you could see the statue of the drowned boy in the loch. A son of a wealthy landowner in the area drowned in the loch many years before and a statue was placed in the loch. Onwards to Luss and a village which was continuously rated one of the prettiest in the  whole of  Britain. Situated on the side of Loch Lomond the cyclists had to drive down between picture book cottages to the pier. From the pier you could get a view of the paddle steamer ‘The Maid of the Loch’ passing. It did not stop at Luss but across the other side of the Loch at Rowerdennan. Robbie had a small telescope and an excellent view of the boat was obtained through the lens. The ’Maid’ was very popular in the summer but its trade was often dependant on the weather.  Moving on from Luss a heavy shower descended and the yellow cycle capes were put on. In general the capes did a good job in normal rain, perhaps not so well in some of the more adverse rain and wind combination conditions. Inverbeg is a relatively short journey from Luss and once past the only real building of substance, the Inverbeg Hotel, the Youth Hostel was found by going down a track to the left. The Hostel was a green corrugated iron looking structure. It was one of the smaller Youth Hostel’s on the SYHA list but popular and if it was not booked you would be struggling to get in.Within most youth hostels there were a few dormitories; invariably one for the women and two or more for the men. Mostly, the sleeping was in metal bunk beds and on top of a mattress  there were 3 blankets for each hosteller. Robbie had brought two cotton sleeping bags in which both could sleep and Derek always had the top bunk.  Seasoned walkers often had the de-luxe version of the sleeping bags in the form of a heavily padded version, in these cases they dispensed with the blankets.  In the evenings it was invariably a walk or cycle up Glen Douglas and a drink at the Inverbeg Hotel. An excellent view across the Loch could be obtained through Robbie’s single lens binocular.
Behind the Inverbeg Hostel there was a footpath which led to a waterfall with a water dropping into a pool. Occasionally, some would go swimming in the pool. On a later visit to the pool Derek,  who was by then a reasonable swimmer decided to, ‘have a dip’.  On entering the pool it was difficult to imagine how cold the water was and his lips turned blue. After just a few minutes he made an exit and a grab for the towel for warmth. On ascending the hill from the pool an onlooker pointed to movements below the pool water. He said ‘Is that eels in there ?’ . Sure enough it looked very much as though he was right with around six or seven  eels. Needless to say Derek never went into the pool again.
Each youth hostel had a sizable stove burning sometimes coal or mainly wood. The meals were cooked on stove plates which were roasting hot from several feet away. They did provide good warmth when nights turned cold to the youth hostellers and helped dry out wet capes on lines around them. For the most part this was the only form of heat in the Inverbeg Youth Hostel which usually closed in the winter. In the morning it was a requirement that the blankets were folded neatly and placed on the bunks for the next youth hosteller.  Bookings at any youth hostel were restricted to a maximum of two or three nights providing someone else had not booked.  The washing was cold water only in the mornings. Before paying for the night and getting a stamp of the youth hostel in a card, a ’duty’ had to be carried out. The youth hostel warden would assign a small task to help keep the hostel up to scratch. Derek was given the dormitory to sweep out with a big broom while Robbie was stocking up the wood shed.
The trip back on a Sunday was always casual stopping at Luss and usually Balloch for a snack.  The Erskine Ferry was always very busy with cars returning from the highlands. Youth Hostelling was immensely popular during this period and Derek loved every minute of it. He always told his friends of where he had been and what he had seen and many more trips were planned.


Mon Mar 23 10:33 pm  #2

Re: From Govan to Scotland 4 - Inverbeg

A brochure on the Inverbeg Holiday Park. There is also an Art Studio at Inverbeg on the track which used to go to the Youth Hostel. A great view of Ben Lomond can be seen from the loch shore.

     Thread Starter

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